Blessed to be a witness

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Thursday, May 26th

I do all my own stunts

Life has now definitely settled into some sort of rhythm. As I had hoped, the website work has calmed down, and so I only work in the office in the mornings, then go out with the snorkel team in the afternoons. M runs the shop, all day sometimes, which can get a little dull as it's not busy.

Sadly, while snorkelling in the area in front of Ton Sai - the part that was hit by the 3 metre tsunami - I found several bones. The first could have been animal, but the last three were definitely human - a piece of femur, a piece of hip, and a rib. These were bagged and sent to the medical centre, and eventually I hope they will be sent to Bangkok for DNA analysis, though I suspect they might not.

On a happier note, following the relatively tame pub quiz we helped with, fundraising has gone on to more provocative heights - a crazy Australian guy has said that he'll do anything ("except life threatening or sodomy") if enough money is donated. The other night he and his mates drank a shot of chilli sauce and snorted a line of dried chilli. Another guy snorted a condom up his nose and pulled it out of his mouth. All of this debauchery was captured on video, and last night they showed it at the Reggae Bar on a huge projection screen (which later showed the new Star Wars movie), and was one of the funniest things I've seen in ages. Phi Phi's own Jackass.


The same nutter said that, if 7,000 baht can be raised, he'd wear full winter ski gear all day until the meeting, including a wooly hat. A nurse we met last night said he was a bit concerned about the health implications of doing this, as the temperature is between 35 and 38, so will attempt to check his vital signs every so often. I met this guy in the street, swigging from a bottle of rehydration salts, wearing socks, shoes, an undershirt, t-shirt, and two fleeces, with a woolly beanie and his hood up. Someone said they'd donate 1,000 baht if he'd work for an hour on the reservoir project dressed in the clothing - something which involves swinging sledgehammers in the blazing sun - and of course he agreed, because he is insane. An English woman watching him became so worried for his health that she donated £100 sterling just to make him stop.

And then the same crowd organised a chilli eating competition - contestants had to match each other chilli for chilli, and the last to drop out won. Anyone who has eaten proper Thai chillis will know how much this would hurt. I ate one just to see, and I spent the next half hour with my tongue swollen up, sipping cold beer to take away the pain. The first to drop out was the guy who'd spent all day in winter clothing. "I've had a hard day," he said, after having munched 24 chillis. A Scottish guy dropped out at 26, while the winners were two Austrian girls who decided mutually to quit after 30. Then up stepped 'Big John', a huge English bloke with a broken nose, who said he'd eat the aggregate of all the competitors' score, plus one so that he'd beat them all. He wolfed them down in huge handfuls, and achieved his goal. I haven't seen him since.


The pain

Big John

The other day I met a guy wearing a T-shirt that says "I do all my own stunts". Given my current crop of injuries, I have decided I must get one. I managed again to scrape myself against undersea rocks, this time all the way down the front of my calf. I also forgot to put on suncream yesterday so I'm scorched all over my back. Then the other day I stood up under the handle of a trolley when doing some digging work, and bruised one of my vertebrae quite badly. I have open sores where my flip flops are chafing me, and this morning I twisted my ankle getting out of bed. I do indeed do all my own stunts.

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